A family friend has a friend who is a travel agent and they got word about an inaugural cruise for the Disney Wonder which was moving from East Coast to West Coast and in honor of the change, they were offering a quick 2 night cruise to nowhere…. so we jumped on board with that. I used to work at Disneyland and really wish I still had the benefits of a discounted cruise or free entry into the park! Anyway…
I went with my parents and my 2 year old. Lilly is such a Disney fanatic it’s not even funny. She is in LOVE with classic Minnie & Mickey. She has to watch Snow White every day… Toy Story every day… oy. She hasn’t really seen many other Disney movies because whenever I try to put one on she says “where Snow White go? Where Buzz Woody go?” She’s missing out!
*****JUST A NOTE: ALL IMAGES ON THIS POST ARE SHOT WITH MY PERSONAL POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA. They are NOT color corrected, edited or anything to make them nicer. I don’t like shlepping my professional gear on trips******
As we got ready to drive to San Pedro to get on the “Mickey Boat,” she ran to get her mickey ears and wouldn’t take them off.
We arrived in the port, and after we parked and they took our luggage we headed inside to register. We pre-boarded at home online but they weren’t too efficient with that so we had to do it over. It took about 45 minutes or so… make sure to have activities for kids when you check in! We then got to go through this check-in then that check-in and of course they took our picture before loading the boat (and I don’t have it on the computer 🙁 ).
When you walk into the ship, they announce your name on the microphone and greet you. It was so nice. Of course my kid had to pee the second we checked in so we missed the name arrival… however everyone said it was cool. We wandered around a little then went to eat. We ate at the buffet by the pool… no I don’t recommend it. I do like that they had kid plates that had like 6 sections on it for their cup, veggies, fruit, pasta etc. We then went to our room…
The hallways were cool because they have these little door hangers (see the fish) and you can hang a sign like “Lilly’s first cruise” or “mom’s birthday” so people see it. People also decorate with magnets their doors. It’s fun. We didn’t know about this or I would have brought something for Lilly about it being her first cruise 🙂
Our room was awesome. I am pretty picky about hotel rooms and public places. It wasn’t dirty/outdated/gross at all. I still pull off the comforter though. It has two bathrooms… one has a toilet and sink…. and the other has the shower and another sink.
The room is divided so you can pretty much have a family of 4 or 5 sleeping in there comfortably. We had all of our suitcases and a stroller and everything fit just fine! When you walk in the room, the bathrooms are to the right, and then the king bed ahead of you. There’s a curtain divider then there’s a sofa (which turns into a bed) and then a bunk above it. The tv runs movies along with a channel of non-stop CLASSIC Mickey which lilly was fanatical about.
The food on the ship was really good. Just the buffet by the pool we didn’t enjoy. There’s free room service 24/7. There’s ice cream 24/7. We liked the fact that sodas were included in your package unlike other ships where you have to buy a drink card! Theres a fun nursery which I didn’t put Lilly in ($6/hour) and a toddler/older kids area which we did go to… that’s free by the way for kids over 3 years old. Also there’s a teen center too. When we go again I will put Lilly in the activities. Anyway… they have the characters out throughout the day’s and Lilly was in heaven!
Of course she didn’t know any other characters except Minnie, Mickey or Snow White. When she saw Ariel she pointed and said “Snow White!!!” haha!
They also had shows on ship. If you go on any Disney Cruise, you HAVE to take the time to see the shows. They are freaking AMAZING. Lilly (who does not sit still) sat through the shows and clapped and was pretty entertained by them. It’s Disney though… do you know them to put on a bad production?
They don’t really have a “formal” night but some people dress up more formal then others. We dressed nicer but they just say no jeans. The lounge by the restaurant we went to had live music that all the kids danced to… Lilly LOVED this!
Things I would consider when taking a Disney Cruise:
It is SUCH a good bang for your buck. YES it is expensive. However… you don’t need to pay for a hotel (unless you are docked and have to get off… I don’t know how that works), you don’t need to pay for food or drinks (except alcohol) and you have tons of shows, first run movies which are STILL in theaters (in 3d btw) and you have FUN!
**speaking of alcohol: Unlike other cruise lines where theres alcohol every which way your turn and it’s being sold left and right– this ship isn’t like that at all. Yes they sell it and people drink it for sure… but it’s not like other ships. I loved it.**
You do need to consider the cost of the tips for the servers, room service, etc. It does add up FAST. Every single person on board was so nice and courteous and always said hello.
You don’t need to worry about getting separated from your family on board… they have these on-ship cell phones which came in very handy for texting back and forth and calling to see where the other one was!
Don’t plan on your little one staying on schedule with going to bed early 🙁
Plan to shop while out to sea (they don’t open the stores until you are not-docked). There’s no tax and the product is the same price as in stores! But don’t let your child open their little figurines on the way back to the room… somehow Snow White got lost within the 2 minute walk from the shop to our room 🙁 Some little kid was very happy to find a brand new snow white and it wasn’t Lilly 🙁
Go see every single show!
Go see the movies they are running in 3d. They were showing Tangled and another one which is still out but I can’t remember.
Go swimming in the pool and watch movies they are running! Here they were running Alice in Wonderland then Nemo after.
If you are planning a 2nd cruise before you even go and KNOW you will be going again, make sure to sign up for the next one while on board. They have cool promos if you sign up while there.
They allow you to take pictures with your own cameras (they’ll even shoot it for you) with the characters. But you can buy the prints they have that they take. In my personal and professional opinion, their pictures were horrible in color, exposure and quality. However, you aren’t expecting fine art, are you? We bought a few though
That’s pretty much it. Sign up for their updates and also on Disney Cruise’s Facebook they have contests and promos all the time…
Until the next cruise…. hopefully next year!!!